Unpleasant sensations on the left under the shoulder blade - what is it and how to treat it?

Sometimes we experience discomfort in the back on the left side. It can be pains of a different nature - pulling, stabbing, aching. They may be accompanied by additional symptoms. Pain under the left shoulder blade is usually not the only symptom. This is one of the signs of the manifestation of any disease. All complaints and symptoms together will help the doctor choose the direction of diagnosis. After all, immediate assistance is often required.

The anatomical structure of the body

If we visualize our body from behind, it will be seen that the left shoulder blade is located on the ribs involved in the formation of the chest. Between the ribs are nerves and blood vessels. They are connected by muscle fibers.

The scapula performs a protective function of the internal organs - the heart, lung, stomach and pancreas, spleen.

Based on the anatomical structure of the body, pain under the left shoulder blade can be conditionally divided into:

  • associated with the pathology of the musculoskeletal system,
  • associated with the pathology of any internal organ.
body structure and pain under the left shoulder blade

Why there are discomfort on the left side

Many of us with the appearance of left-sided pain, first of all, consider problems in the work of the heart. In fact, more often the cause is a problem of the spine. There may also be malfunctions in the work of internal organs.

Let us consider in more detail the causes of pain under the left shoulder blade. They may occur when:

  • Problems with the spine and locomotor system: osteochondrosis, intercostal neuralgia, scapular injuries, rib fractures, myofascial syndrome, Sprengel's disease.
  • Diseases of the bronchi and lungs: pneumonia, localized on the left, dry pleurisy, bronchitis in the acute stage of the course, tracheitis, left-sided lung abscess.
  • Diseases of the cardiological system: angina pectoris, coronary heart disease, heart attack, valve prolapse.
  • Diseases of the stomach and intestines: stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophagitis, reflux, spasm of the esophagus.
  • Psychosomatic course of the disease with vegetative-vascular dystonia.

Relationship between pain and disease

Patients can characterize the nature of pain from aching to cutting and burning. There are several typical signs of pain that distinguish them from other diseases:

Name of the disease Pain that characterizes him
Cardiac diseases Pain in the region of the left shoulder blade is burning in nature, causes a feeling of compression of the retrosternal space. It occurs in the same place, moving to the left side - back, shoulder blade, arm. With pressing, as if squeezing heart pain, the spread of myocardial infarction is possible. In this case, urgent hospitalization is necessary.
aortic aneurysm The pain is sharp, shooting, growing, goes to the left in the back and under the shoulder blade. The condition develops rapidly, threatens the life of the patient.
Pleurisy The pain is sharp and stabbing, depending on the size of the breath. In a calm state, a tingling sensation is possible, when inhaling with a full chest, there is a piercing pain in the scapula.
Left sided pneumonia The pain is not strong, aching, can be characterized as a point. May slightly increase with movement and deep inspiration.
Osteochondrosis of the vertebrae Most often, the pain is localized at the bottom of the neck. It is manifested by aching sensations, aggravated by a sharp movement of the head. It can give into the hand, be accompanied by spinning of the head, numbness of the limb. The pain under the scapula is weak, aching and pulling, there may be an increase in pain in a long sitting position or after physical exertion. As a rule, this happens in the evening. In the morning, stiffness of the spinal muscles is felt. Unlike cardiac pain, it does not go away after taking medications. There may be severe headaches that do not depend on pressure.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, ulcers in the stomach and intestines Pain in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can be seasonal with attacks. Pain syndrome can occur due to prolonged hunger, immediately after eating, a couple of hours after eating, at night. Pain disappears after satisfying hunger, after food leaves the stomach, after vomiting or taking medication. When the ulcer is perforated, the pain radiates under the left shoulder blade, it is acute and unbearable. If you suspect this disease, you should immediately go to the hospital. At the beginning of the development of the disease, pain may subside after vomiting. With reflux esophagitis, accompanying symptoms will be heartburn, belching, and impaired digestion.
Intercostal neuralgia A sharp shooting or girdle pain is felt constantly or in attacks. May occur on one side. Increases during sudden movements - sneezing, coughing, severe shortness of breath, walking, physical activity, palpation of the pain site.
Vegetative-vascular dystonia and myofascial syndrome With myofascial syndrome, the pain is dull, coming from the depths of the tissues. It can occur both at rest and during physical activity. It can range in intensity from mild to severe. Objectively, during examination, patients with VVD suffer from irritability, memory impairment, sweating, tachycardia, and hand trembling. Often there are changes in the heart muscle. The nature of the pain is similar to that of the heart. But examination of the heart does not confirm the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of the disease that caused the pain syndrome

massage for pain under the left shoulder blade

In order to find out what is causing the pain, a detailed examination will be required. First of all, you need to consult a therapist or doctor. He, on the basis of complaints and examination of the patient, will determine what kind of research needs to be carried out.

The initial stage of treatment, if the pain radiates to the left shoulder blade, should be a trip to the local therapist. He will be able to make an initial examination and prescribe all the necessary examinations. And already with the existing surveys, you can go for a consultation with narrow specialists.

The doctor will not be able to diagnose the disease solely from complaints of pain syndrome. Complaints will be an impetus in the direction where more thorough diagnosis is required. Therefore, when contacting a doctor, it is necessary to know exactly the answers to questions about the nature of the pain, its localization and concomitant causes - the relationship with food intake, physical and emotional stress.

If myositis is suspected in a patient, a detailed blood test must be performed to confirm the inflammatory process.

To more accurately diagnose the disease, it is necessary to conduct a set of examinations.

The first task is to exclude conditions that require emergency medical care. These include: gastric and duodenal ulcers, heart attack, aortic rupture.

To understand exactly what hurts under the left shoulder blade, you need to undergo the following examinations:

  • Visual inspection and palpation of the localization of pain. Temperature, blood pressure and pulse will be taken.
  • X-ray in several projections to confirm or deny problems with the spine and lungs.
  • ECG to check the work of the heart.
  • To clarify the localization of the problem with the spine, a CT scan or MRI may be needed.
  • If gastrointestinal problems are suspected, FGS can be prescribed - fibrogastroduodenoscopy.
  • General and biochemical blood tests.

For some types of pain, first aid can be provided with analgesics and antispasmodics. But their reception does not eliminate the cause, but only drowns out the pain from the left under the shoulder blade, which, after the end of the drug, will definitely return again. To prevent the occurrence of pain again, it is necessary to find out its cause.

In any case, if the left shoulder blade hurts, after stopping the first signs of pain, it is necessary to undergo a full course of examinations. After all, often the source of pain radiating to the shoulder blade can be located in another place. Therefore, when a pain syndrome appears in the area of the scapula, it is necessary to visit: a therapist, a neurologist, a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, a traumatologist, with the exclusion of pathology on the part of all the listed specialists, a consultation with a psychotherapist is necessary.

Treatment of the disease that caused the pain syndrome

examination of the back for pain under the left shoulder blade

The purpose of treatment will depend on the diagnosis of the disease. For each specific disease, there are specific treatment regimens. They necessarily include recommendations on physical activity and diet. The medication regimen is described in detail. They are combined depending on the symptoms and complaints to relieve acute symptoms that threaten the life of the patient.

In any case, you need to remember that pain in the left shoulder blade can only be removed with drugs recommended by a specialist. Do not resort to the advice of relatives and friends. After all, without medical help it is difficult to determine the nature of the pain. Self-medication can lead to a delay in cardiac or gastric pathologies.

  • For example, with reflux after the examination, drugs may be prescribed to reduce the acidity of the stomach, to facilitate its movement in the intestines. In this case, it is worth limiting the amount of food consumed, do not bend over immediately after eating.
  • With osteochondrosis, physiotherapy exercises, swimming, dry heat and an increase in physical activity can be prescribed as medical procedures. All of these measures are used as a prophylaxis after the pain subsides.
  • If there is a diagnosis of ischemia, a cardiac drug should be taken initially. If the pain in the shoulder blade on the left does not go away after 10 minutes, you need to call an ambulance.
  • If there are problems with the cardiovascular system, the best prevention is the constant intake of the necessary drugs, diet, mental stability and not excessive physical activity.
  • If pain in the scapula is manifested due to problems with the spine, it is necessary to perform a set of special exercises for a long period of time and follow the recommendations of specialists in taking medications.
  • If the occurrence of pain under the shoulder blade on the left is associated with problems of the stomach and intestines, diet and medication will help to cope. In this case, psycho-emotional balance is important, because often stress causes an ulcer. A positive attitude and mastering the technique of relaxation and relaxation is necessary.

If there is no result from conservative treatment, as well as when a perforated ulcer, a large hernia of the spine, a rupture of the spleen is detected, surgical intervention is necessary.

In principle, in order to avoid serious health problems, an annual dispensary examination is necessary. It is necessary to undergo the necessary examinations to exclude the occurrence of diseases in the near future.